In the middle of the night, our players are awakened as the temperature around them grows very cold. A damp, freezing fog encompasses the campsite, and no heat can be seen past the fire and their own bodies. Suddenly, the two remaining horses on the edge of the encampment are blasted with cold from something in the woods and freeze instantly into ice. A thick blanket of falling snow keeps visibility to a bare 15′, and something large can be heard moving around just past the parties sight.
A dark voice speaks to them from the woods, “I keeps the covenant, I eat only the creatures that wander into my forest, nothing on the road. And there have been so many creatures in my woods of late.”
“Go, leave my forest, tell Megaran Untario that I keeps the covenant. Even you, the one sleeping in my tree, leaves now or freeze and fill my belly.”, and they hear a menacing crunching as whatever it is snaps and crunches away at the frozen horses.
Prudently, our players leave their campsite and double-time march to Horvath’s Keep.
Now early morning, on the road, and approaching the castle the party notices something wrong. There are several small plumes of smoke coming from the castle, one from a burned-out tower and one from within its walls. The front gate has been destroyed and a hastily erected barrier now blocks the front gate.
Scumtongue reveals he grew up in this castle, that Lord Horvath is his father, and this is not how it should be. He suggests the party enter the castle stealthily by a secret entrance only accessible down the ravine through a perilous climb. Ogg is to massive to make the climb, so he and the small waif wait in the woods for the party’s return.
While they are gone, two goblins approach in a small path in the woods having trouble with their small cart. Our small waif, Lillyleaf, tells Oggmunder to stay behind her and be quiet. She successfully hides behind a tree, and waits for the goblins to get closer. When they do, she fires arrows at them at near point-blank range. Killing them both before they even draw their weapons. The goblin cart is filled with carefully packed boxes of vials filled with a dangerous-looking red liquid.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party climbs down the ravine and scales its treacherous face coming to a small hidden opening to a tiny tunnel. Barely squeezing through our heroes come up beneath the castle, to a trap door in the refectory. Scumtongue looks out to see a bugbear chopping up some bodies of the people who had lived in the castle, stuffing the pieces into sacks. Scumtongue goes into a rage and leaps out to attack. With the party’s help, they make quick work of the bugbear.
Leucosia, says she can sneak around the castle and can reconnoiter by herself. Stepping outside she transforms into a squirrel and searches the courtyard. She discovers some buildings are destroyed, some have movement within, and the spends the rest of the hour’s enchantment getting to know the squirrels in the trees that are in the center of the courtyard.